Saturday, June 28, 2014

Camping, Sleeping, And Eating, Not Necessarily In That Order

Well Hi!

From these photos, you may have figured out that we have taken a the weekend off to go camping!

Yep, going to kick back for the next few days, with no schedule. No alarms. No deadlines. Gonna sit in my lawn chair, partake of a frosty beverage or two and read magazines filled with lies about famous people I don't really care all that much about.

Gonna sleep when we're tired, eat when we're hungry, maybe take a walk or two, go see a movie or two, and very likely take a nap or two.

I realize this doesn't seem like much of a vacation to some, but it suits us just fine. A vacation, no matter what kind, should serve the purpose to recharge and re-energize you, and it's fulfilling it's job nicely.

The last few weeks have been especially physically demanding, a lot of ladders, heavy lifting, and fitting into places a person probably shouldn't go. As a result, there are some arms, backs, feet and knees that could use the break.

We are so lucky to have such a beautiful campground 20 minutes from home!

In the mad rush to get customers taken care of, I pulled a good old fashioned cramming session Thursday night and was able to get "Alfred Dinglewiggle" off to Artbookbindery! I'm so excited to have Alfred into this final stage. Now, all that is left is final layout, proofs, and BAM! Alfred will be able to join Lexi, Ethan and Jake on the bookstore shelves!

I have to admit, I was beginning to have doubts if I was ever going to get the time to finish this one.

Well folks, I hate to write and run, but like I mentioned, we are camping, and the internet connections can be sketchy. I'm using my phone as a hotspot, (how impressed are you with all my techy know how?) and am not sure how reliable this set up is.

So my friends, until next week I'll leave you with this wish,

May any vacation, big or small, recharge your body, mind and soul.
May you take that break, for even the lives we love can take a bit of a toll.

May you, if not able to physically take a trip, find a mini-holiday in a hot bath, a book, or a quiet cup of tea.
May you, parents of preschoolers, take full advantage of the smallest of breathers, like being left alone to pee.

May you find enjoyment in all you do, in work, in play, and everything in between.
May you see that if you don't, you deprive yourself, being wasteful of the joy that could have been.

Until next time!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hula Hoops & Poppin' Bubbles!


The Province in which I live is described as "The Land of the Living Skies."  I guess the 30 minutes in which these shots were taken show part of the reason why.

I don't want to seem ungrateful for the rain, as I know in many parts of the world, it would be an incredible gift. I don't want to seem ungrateful, and I truly am not, it's just that so many consistent days of gloomy, turbulent, unsettled weather tends to start rubbing off on a person's psyche.

So, Mother Nature, if you please, could you so kindly send some of this lovely rain to places where it is so desperately needed. We would love to have the rain clouds come back to visit briefly every few weeks for a short visit, but like a house guest who has overstayed their welcome, we would like to send these heavy clouds on their merry, or not so merry, way, for now.

Thanks ever so much.

Life at the shop has been crazy, as usual. This is fantastic, more than I can even explain. With the heavy schedule, though, a person can kind of get cut off from the outside world without even realizing it. You get so busy in the day-to-day running of things that when you do pop up for air, like we did when we went to the city for a parts run today, it's surprising what you can miss.

For instance, on our way, we were listening to  the radio and found out Cher was in town! Tonight! Who Knew! Well, lots of people, I suppose. I mean, they did sell thousands of tickets, after all.

I think we need to be a bit more mindful of the "bubble" effect starting and running your own business can have.  I think, if a person isn't careful, your world could shrink pretty fast. We love doing what we do, but we have to be careful it doesn't become everything we do.


On the upside, today, I bought a hula hoop. I used to be pretty dang good at hula hooping. My friends and I spent many elementary school lunch hours developing tricks, using multiple hoops. I saw it there, daring me to try, so I did. In the aisle. At Target. Much to my disappointment, and the amusement of fellow shoppers, my talent for hula hooping seems to have waned, at least for now. I'm hoping muscle memory will kick in at some point and take over. It is very possible, however, that the muscles I had at 10 years old have a.) developed dimentia b.) been traded in for stretch marks (which apparently have the memory of an elephant and the staying power of stink on a skunk) or c.) they don't carry the same memory as my brain does, and maybe I sucked at hula hooping the whole time.

Maybe muscle memory isn't the answer after all. No matter, I'll give it a shot anyway. Although I don't necessarily see the Ringling Brothers coming in with any job offers any time soon,  it would be pretty cool to be able to keep that dang hoop off the floor.

Maybe music would help, maybe something with a good beat, something rhythmic, maybe something by Shakira. Like her, my hips don't lie, though, at this point, they may fib a little.

Yep, this week was another crazy one, but it was productive. I didn't get a chance to work on "Alfred Dinglewiggle", but this upcoming week is the one, for sure. It has to be, if I will have any hope of having it here in time for my reading in Major during August long weekend. I'll simply have to pop the "bubble" long enough to do it. Simple as that. Right?

The upcoming week, for a lot of people, will mark the end of another school year.  Hopefully, this means that some alarm clocks can be forgotten, lunches can be left unmade, and long days can be spent in the sun, playing games and having fun. Grab the Summer with both hands and squeeze out of it every ounce of fun you can!

Well, my friends, that about does it for me this week. Thank you so much for taking the time to read these ramblings each week! I appreciate it more than you know.

Until next time...........................

May this Summer smile upon you, filling every day with laughter, sunshine and joy.
May the anthem of "I'm Bored" be forgotten, amusement being found in the simplest toy.

May the "he's touching me" and "she's breathing on me" not even begin during your family trip.
May you handle every meltdown with finesse, grace and wisdom, never coming close to losing your grip.

May every outing be something worthy of a movie made by Hallmark Hall of Fame.
May they be filled with poignant anecdotes and lessons, only filled with humour and not so lame.

May every ounce of fun be squeezed from every single day, each more fun than the one before.
May you allow yourself to join in, grab a water gun, build a sand castle, eat a few s'mores.

Until next time!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Daddy Day!

Let me begin this week's ramblings by wishing my hubby a very Happy Father's Day!

Our girls could not have a more dedicated, hard-working, devoted, loving, caring Daddy.

From being a human jungle gym, to teaching our girls how to change the oil in their car, to showing our daughters how a real man treats the ones he loves, and to accept nothing less.

From being the Daddy who helped them learn how to ride a bike, to being the Dad who they knew they could call on to help a friend out the ditch in the middle of the night.

From the Daddy who fixed broken Barbies, bikes, and bracelets, to the Dad who fixed broken hearts, cars, and would patiently hold coats and purses during every "back to school" shopping trip.

To my are the only one with whom I could ever imagine going through the adventures of parenthood. Thank you for being such a good partner in everything we do, and such an exceptional Daddy to our girls.

Now on to the mischievous adventures of Grandparenting!  Oh what trouble we could get into! Hehehehehe

As for this past week?

Well, our show on the weekend was a blast! They are such fun crowd! There were some impressive performances, as well. Some "Slim Shady" rapping, impromptu acapella, some interesting birthday wish songs, and maybe, just maybe, there were a few cocktails involved. In 14 years of doing shows, I can honestly say this was the first time I had a grown man wobble up to me, lift his shirt and ask if he'd done his belt up right.

Life never seems to run out of firsts. It keeps life interesting.

This week saw a lot of late nights at the shop, and we are both tired, but in a very satisfying way. We were able to get everybody on their way, including a nice elderly couple who were in the middle of their trip when 2 of the 4 springs under their trailer broke!

We had to order parts and run to the city for more parts, and it took a couple of days, but we got them safely back on the road. While they waited, they "camped" beside our shop.

It was very sweet to hear them say as they left that if something like this was going to happen, they were glad it happened here, with us.

Nice folks.

The rest of the week is kind of a blur of horse trailers, plumbing, service calls, phone calls, faxes and parts runs.

I wasn't able to sneak in many grandbaby snuggles, or get much done on my book, but the upcoming week should be a little less hectic.....maybe.

I did receive an email with a bit more details about this year's "Word On The Street" festival, in Saskatoon!  I'm so excited, it such a great event! It hosts such a fantastic, eclectic group of authors! Graphic novelists, poets, non-fiction writers, mystery writers, and everything in between. It floors me every time I think about the fact that I get included in this group of people.

So folks, that about does it for me, for now.

Until next time, I'll leave you with this wish................

May every child, as they grow, feel the security and peace that lives within their Father's arms.
May they know that a shared bloodline is not needed to have a Daddy that keeps them from harm.

May every adolescent get the chance to roll their eyes at yet another goofy "Dad" story.
May they also see how hard it is for a Dad to see them grow up, and away, how it fills him with worry.

May every kid see pride for them shine in their Father's eyes for any and all dreams for which they strive.
May every kid know in every fiber of their being their Daddy will always love them more than any man alive.

Until next time!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Falling Sinks And Lightning Strikes!


This week mark's the 70th anniversary of the heroic horror that took place on the beaches of Normandy that marked the beginning of the end of the 2nd World War.

When I put myself in those young boys' shoes, the moments leading up to the order to go ashore, I can't help but feel like I'm being smothered by a blanket of consuming fear.  The kind of courage it took to take those first steps, knowing full well they would most likely be your last, is unfathomable.

These boys, so many of them barely 18, sacrificing themselves for the freedom of others. Our freedom.

How different would our world look if they hadn't been so brave?

I so hope we aren't squandering this freedom that cost so dearly. I so hope we aren't twisting these hard earned rights into a soap box from which to spew hate and prejudice, the very things these boys sacrificed themselves to defeat.

I hope we are cherishing these freedoms, knowing, as we watch the world around us, how fleeting freedom can be.

I hope, as these boys watch from wherever their souls should shine, they can be proud of us, the custodians of their heroic legacy.

It's been a pretty interesting week!

Among the "usual" business around the shop, we had a few customers call in with some not to usual concerns.

The first guy who called, was doing so because his trailer was struck by lightning! Poor guy!

There he was, soundly sleeping when he was startled awake by a big bang and sparks shooting out of his furnace! After that, his trailer went completely dead. Hubby went to where he is parked to have a look, and after years of seeing pretty much everything that can go wrong with a trailer, was actually surprised to find things he had never encountered before!

The linoleum had burned/melted around a furnace vent, and there was absolutely no power. Period. He tried all of his tricks and couldn't find a flicker. The whole trailer smelled like burnt plastic, and he is pretty certain every appliance and piece of electronics will be fried. I feel so bad for the guy, we are just hoping his insurance will cover either his loss of the trailer, or pay to fix it properly. It's an insurance company I'm not familiar with, I sure hope they come through for him.

Another customer called, having bought a brand new trailer from a dealership far, far away. His list of complaints about his trailer began with the kitchen sink falling through his counter, into the cabinet below. The list went on and on, scared to fall through a certain section of floor, electric bunks malfunctioning, hydraulics leaking, and so on, and so on.....My advice? Call the dealership and tell them you will require a replacement trailer. There is no way it should have left the lot like that. We are going on a service call Monday to make his sink functional, we won't be able to fix it properly but it will at least get he and his wife by until the dealership decides what they will do.

We had yet another customer, who, after buying a trailer in British Columbia, pulled it all the way home, and then brought it to us to give it a "check over" before they hit the road with it. Good thing they did. As it turns out, the sewer tanks are split and broken. This is an expensive repair, and I find it  highly unlikely that the guy who sold it to them wasn't aware of the issue. After breaking the bad news, I urged  him to phone the guy he bought it from and see if he couldn't get some money back, let's say, oh maybe the amount it will take to fix it.

Sometimes you just gotta shake your head............

Other than that, the past week went by productively and swiftly.

I wasn't able to get much done on the book front this week, but I'm hoping next week lends itself to squeaking in some progress in that direction.

So, the next few days start off with doing a karaoke show tomorrow night. It should be a great time!

Then, next week will be spent getting some trailers ready to hit the rodeo circuit, and others, to hit the lake.

I'm really hoping to steal some baby snuggles, do some toddler teasing, and big kid bugging, along the way.

Well folks, gotta run!

Until next time, I'll leave you with this wish.......................................

May you see each day as a gift, for it is, a gift, to enjoy, appreciate, to cherish.
May you explore new avenues, seek new views, change perspectives, for without these, imaginations perish.

May you take full advantage of opportunities, for they were hard earned by those who walked before us.
May you see that success earned dishonorably throws sand in the eyes of every soldier, disrespecting their sacrifice.

May you walk through life in a way that honors their courage, in a way that allows you to restfully sleep.
May you know in doing so, sacrifices hold meaning, with your actions, their bravery you will keep.

Until next time!